Senate Bill 107, the Trans State of Refuge Bill, has just been passed into law! This legislation will protect trans kids and their families fleeing from states that criminalize the parents of trans kids for allowing them to receive gender-affirming care by protecting them from being criminally prosecuted for supporting their trans kids’ access to healthcare or having their children taken from them.
“With trans youth being attacked across the country, it is nice to know that California will stand with them. SB107 will allow youth and their families from states with these hateful laws a safe haven to come to California for their medically necessary care without fear,” quoted Kathie Moehlig, executive director of TransFamily Support Services.
SB 107 has inspired 19 other states to introduce similar “trans refuge state” bills, in response to states like Texas and Alabama that are pushing to remove trans kids from affirming households and criminalize the adults, both parents and medical professionals, providing gender-affirming care.
SB 107 has three main components:
- It prohibits the enforcement of other states’ laws that seek to remove a child from a parent or guardian on the basis of allowing gender-affirming care. As a result, families will be able to come to California to avoid having their trans children taken away from them.
- It bars compliance in California with any out-of-state subpoena seeking health or other related information about people who come to California to receive gender-affirming care, if the subpoena relates to efforts to criminalize individuals or remove children from their homes for having received gender-affirming care. This combats legislation that would extend states’ criminal prohibitions even to residents who travel out of state to receive gender-affirming health care.
- It prohibits the arrest or recognition of any demand for extradition of an individual that criminalizes allowing a person to receive or provide gender-affirming health care where that conduct would not be unlawful under California’s law. It will declare that it is California’s public policy that any out-of-state criminal arrest warrant for someone based on violating another state’s law against receiving gender-affirming care is the lowest priority for law enforcement in California.
Trans youth already face numerous barriers to receiving the health care they need, and with studies showing that access to gender-affirming care for trans kids reduces risk for depression, psychological distress, and suicidal ideation, gender-affirming care is effectively suicide prevention. With SB 107, California will continue to be a leader in protecting the civil rights and basic dignity of LGBTQ+ people and will help trans kids and their parents have a safe place to go if they are threatened with prosecution or criminalization for being who they are and seeking the care they need.
SB 107 is co-authored by Senators Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), and John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), and Assemblymembers Evan Low (D-Campbell), Alex Lee (D-San Jose), Chris Ward (D-San Diego), Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), Matt Haney (D-San Francisco), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), and Mia Bonta (D-Alameda). Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (San Diego) and Assemblymember Lori Wilson (D-Fairfield) principal co-authors.